ASD Supports the Role of Industry in the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty Process

  • September 12, 2017

Geneva, 12 September 2017 - from the UN Third Conference of States Parties of the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty.

ASD, the Aerospace and Defence Industries Association of Europe, today organised a panel discussion involving industry, civil society and government representatives to discuss the role of industry in the Arms Trade Treaty process. This event built on a long-established engagement by ASD throughout the negotiation and subsequent follow-up to this important international Treaty.

In his opening remarks the President of the Conference, Ambassador Klaus Korhonen of Finland, underlined that since the start of the UN ATT process in 2006, industry has been “very involved in the development work of the ATT”.   

The voluntary and active role of industry is recognised in the Preamble of the Treaty, in particular regarding “raising the awareness of the object and purpose of the ATT and in supporting its implementation”.

There was a unanimous recognition of the important role that industry's expertise can play in developing awareness on the need to implement effective export controls processes and internal compliance programmes. Industry is also uniquely able to reach out to its business partners and customers in other countries, particularly those that are not States Parties to the Treaty. This can benefit the objective of encouraging wider participation in the ATT.

ASD welcomes and encourages this renewed emphasis on the important role of industry and looks forward to working with all stakeholders; including the incoming and future Presidencies of the ATT Conferences.

Measures specifically aimed at preventing the illicit trade or diversion of conventional arms are important in ensuring that legitimate trade not is tarnished in any way, particularly where there is a clear risk that they would be used in ways that would result in serious breaches of international humanitarian and human rights law.

Industry supports the widest possible implementation of the ATT by both exporting and importing countries. There is an important relationship between governments, industry and civil society in doing this.